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Tue, 7 April 2020

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Bar Council warns over knee-jerk move towards indefinite detention

Bar Council

1 min read Member content

Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, responds to reports that the Government would consider indefinite detention for convicted terrorists, 


Responding to reports that the Government would consider indefinite detention for convicted terrorists, Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

"We will not and must not forget the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Streatham and London Bridge, but a knee-jerk reaction can have unintended consequences and any moves towards indefinite detention should be resisted. Locking someone up indefinitely without due process in our country has been prohibited as long ago as The Middle Ages. 

"The fundamental rights provided by Magna Carta have stood the test of time for a reason. Previous attempts to imprison defendants indefinitely have been ruled unlawful by the courts, so to do this would mark a significant departure from the norm. Sentences are meant to protect the public, punish and rehabilitate the offender and deter others. They should not alienate, isolate and make martyrs of those committing crimes.

"We need to look at the whole picture and ensure we invest in a strong criminal justice system from start to finish: one which deals with the root causes of such behaviour; that is effective and thought out, rather than simply retroactively throwing away the key of those serving prison sentences overnight.”

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